Lancashire’s exporters hold key to success

Celebrations at last year's BIBAs
Celebrations at last year's BIBAs
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A leading Lancashire business adviser believes exports can continue to bolster the county’s key manufacturing sector.

Ginni Cooper, corporate services director at chartered accountants Moore & Smalley, said the number of firms reporting improved sales overseas was growing and proved products made in the county were in demand.

The Quarterly Economic Survey produced by Lancashire’s three Chambers of Commerce, supported by Moore and Smalley, showed a rise in both export sales and orders among manufacturers.

Today, Ms Cooper will lead the judging panel for the Manufacturer of the Year category at this year’s Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, which begins its second round of judging today.

Ms Cooper said: “Manufacturing has always had a central role to play in the health of the economy in Lancashire and exports are a crucial part of its success.

“Our manufacturers have a strong track record of selling overseas and they realise they cannot afford to rest on their laurels and need to continue to innovate to keep these figures improving.

“But, for those who are not yet looking at exporting, this points towards a big opportunity when the time is right for them.”

The Quarterly Economic Survey, which spoke to more than 100 manufacturing firms employing more than 8,000 people in Lancashire, showed the balance of businesses reporting improved export sales rose to a quarter in the first three months of 2017, up from 15 per cent in the final quarter of 2016.

The balance of export orders was also up to 21% from 12% over the same period.

Among the finalists which the Manufacturer of the Year judges will visit today include former winners Scorpion Automotive and Laila’s Fine Foods, which won the category in 2015 and 2013 respectively.